Alarm over chemical-laden fruits & vegetables
New Delhi: Looking to include shiny, green, leafy vegetables in your meal? Think again! The ‘perfect-looking’ veggies may not good for your health after all.
In a letter to the Union Health Secretary, Minister of State for Health, Dinesh Trivedi has warned that the vegetables on sale in the market may be leading to “nervous breakdowns, sterility and neurotic complications” among unsuspecting consumers.
“The health benefits of consuming green vegetables as a staple diet finds a sharp contradiction in the present-day context. Farmers are using hormone shots to expedite the growth of their vegetables. The disturbing part is that these hormones may cause irreparable damage to our health, if taken through these vegetables, over a period of time. The even more shocking element is that the public/authorities may also be aware of this malpractice,” Trivedi said in the letter, seeking action against such farmers.
The minister’s warning has come at a time when it has become a common practice among farmers to inject vegetables with oxytocin, also called ‘love hormone’. Farmers use the chemical to help fruits and vegetables grow faster.
Oxytocin is a hormone that also acts as a neurotransmitter to the brain. It is used clinically to induce labour, control bleeding after delivery and stimulate secretion of breast milk.
The chemical is mostly injected in pumpkin, watermelon, brinjal, gourd and cucumber to help them grow faster and look perfect. The irony is that oxytocin is a Schedule-H drug, which is banned in the country for use on animals.
Trivedi, in his letter, also mentioned the use of chemicals like copper sulphates for colouring fruits and vegetables. “The adverse effects of these toxins are being investigated. Both these hazardous chemicals and their use needs to be urgently monitored and looked into immediately,” the minister said.